MONTRÉAL, March 30, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - More than 4,000 VIA Rail Canada (VIA Rail) Canada 150 passes were sold in less than 36 hours. As soon as the pass was posted on VIA Rail's website on March 27, youth quickly seized the opportunity and shared it on social media to spread the good news.
Their enthusiasm translated into sales on VIA Rail's web site, which was overwhelmed with demand. Visits increased at a dramatic rate and the site experienced five times the usual volume of traffic, causing the reservation system to crash. VIA Rail had to temporarily suspend sales of the pass to maintain the integrity of the site and allow normal ticket sales. During this time, VIA Rail was a trending topic on Google. The technical teams and call centres quickly began to deal with the extremely high number of requests. Initially, VIA Rail had planned to sell 1867 passes to coincide with Canada's birth year, however, because of the great interest in the product, coupled with the unfortunate inconvenience caused by the crash and wait times, the sale of the Canada 150 passes was extended until 3 A.M this morning.
"We are pleasantly surprised and, above all, delighted to see that our offer has caused such a strong reaction. We wanted to reach youth on their favourite platform: social media. The offer was a great success and once again showed the power of digital media, including social media. That is why VIA Rail does a large part of its advertising online," said the President and Chief Executive Officer of VIA Rail, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.
By offering youth 25 and younger a pass for $150, VIA Rail wished to help them get on board for the Canada 150 celebrations and discover the country from Canada's best window during the month of July. As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, VIA Rail will also be taking part in several diverse initiatives organized across the country which will reinforce feelings of pride and belonging across the country. The Corporation has wrapped 22 locomotives, 18 cars, and the Glen Fraser lounge car in the Canada 150 colours and has installed posters and banners in its stations to invite travellers to take part in the festivities.
"The train brought Canada together to form confederation. It is at the heart of the creation of this large and beautiful country we know today. We wanted youth who may know its historical importance to have their own truly Canadian experience. We hope that this summer, many young Canadians will discover places they didn't know about, create lasting memories and share our pride of being Canadians." said Yves Desjardins-Siciliano.
About VIA Rail Canada
As Canada's national rail passenger service, VIA Rail (viarail.ca) and its 2,600 employees are mandated to provide safe, efficient and economical passenger transportation service, in both official languages of our country. VIA Rail operates intercity, regional and transcontinental trains linking over 400 communities across Canada, and about 180 more communities through intermodal partnerships, and safely transports nearly four million passengers annually. The Corporation was awarded seven Safety Awards by the Railway Association of Canada over the last eight years. For more information, visit: www.viarail.ca/en/about-via-rail.
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SOURCE VIA Rail Canada Inc.
For further information: Mariam Diaby, Relations médias, VIA Rail Canada, 514 871-6010, 1 877 393-8787, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com